Today, the director of Farmageddon, Kristin Canty, stops by to give you the inside story on what really happened during the Rawesome Foods raid and why her documentary is so important for every American to see! Plus, is America becoming a dictatorship right before our eyes?
Congress’ Next Challenge: Forming The Debt “Super Committee”
Shift On Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals
Rise Of The Petty Dictator
Two-Party Dictatorship: US Choosing Lesser Evil?
Judge Allows American To Sue Rumsfeld Over Torture
Is Western Democracy Real Or A Facade?
Take Trudeau on the Go! Click here to download this show to your iPod, mp3 player, or PC through iTunes!
Click below to listen to the Kevin Trudeau Show!
January 30, 2012
By Ellen Nakashima and Lisa Rein
The Food and Drug Administration secretly monitored the personal e-mail of a group of its own scientists and doctors after they warned Congress that the agency was approving medical devices that they believed posed unacceptable risks to patients, government documents show.
The surveillance — detailed in e-mails and memos unearthed by six of the scientists and doctors, who filed a lawsuit against the FDA in U.S. District Court in Washington last week — took place over two years as the plaintiffs accessed their personal Gmail accounts from government computers.
Information garnered this way eventually contributed to the harassment or dismissal of all six of the FDA employees, the suit alleges. All had worked in an office responsible for reviewing devices for cancer screening and other purposes.
Copies of the e-mails show that, starting in January 2009, the FDA intercepted communications with congressional staffers and draft versions of whistleblower complaints complete with editing notes in the margins. The agency also took electronic snapshots of the computer desktops of the FDA employees and reviewed documents they saved on the hard drives of their government computers.
FDA computers post a warning, visible when users log on, that they should have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in any data passing through or stored on the system, and that the government may intercept any such data at any time for any lawful government purpose.
But in the suit, the doctors and scientists say the government violated their constitutional privacy rights by gazing into personal e-mail accounts for the purpose of monitoring activity that they say was lawful.
“Who would have thought that they would have the nerve to be monitoring my communications to Congress?” said Robert C. Smith, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, a former radiology professor at Yale and Cornell universities who worked as a device reviewer at the FDA until his contract was not renewed in July 2010. “How dare they?”
An FDA spokeswoman, Erica Jefferson, said the agency does not comment on litigation.
But according to FDA internal documents that the scientists and doctors obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the agency told the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general that they had improperly disclosed confidential business information about the devices. The agency requested that an investigation be opened in May 2010.
February 1st, 2011
By: Debra Cassens Weiss
U.S. District Judge John McBryde of Fort Worth, Texas, has sanctioned three lawyers and recommended criminal charges against two of them for motions questioning his integrity in litigation over golf club patents.
McBryde said the plaintiff in the litigation, John Gillig, had used comments the judge had “jokingly” made about contingency fees to support a “fictitious scenario” of bias, according to his 114-page opinion (PDF) issued Jan. 5. McBryde imposed sanctions, even though he could have asked another judge to rule on the issue, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
It’s not the first time McBryde has battled over removal of cases assigned to him. A 1996 New York Times article says the judge had fought to keep two cases from being removed from his docket because of allegations he had been intemperate. In 1997, the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals suspended the judge for a year, citing his “intemperate, abusive and intimidating” conduct, the Star-Telegram says. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear McBryde’s appeal, the Times reported in 2002.
In the golf patent case, McBryde recommended criminal charges against lawyers Melvin Silverman and S. Tracey Long, both of whom have offices in Florida, and barred them from practicing in courts in the Northern District of Texas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Silverman is banned for life, and Long for 10 years. Both were given pro hac vice status to pursue the Texas suit. McBryde barred a third lawyer, Joseph Cleveland of Fort Worth, from practicing in the district for two years, except in cases already pending.
McBryde also recommended criminal charges against Gillig, whom he accused in court documents of being “a liar, a fraud and a phony who played a ‘shell game’ with the facts,” the Star-Telegram reports. Gillig has said the judge’s accusations are not true, the newspaper says.
In his Jan. 5 opinion, McBryde criticized a 2009 plaintiff’s motion seeking to prevent the judge from hearing a second round in the golf litigation, saying that “virtually everything” in several paragraphs of Gillig’s declaration was false. The document cited Gillig’s belief that McBryde “has exhibited personal and extrajudicial bias and prejudice” against him. According to Gillig’s motion, McBryde had addressed the plaintiff in a status conference, saying “you cannot afford to be in this court.” The plaintiff also asserted that McBryde asked his lawyers if they were taking the case on contingency, and if so, they “should not expect to get a house out of this case.” The motion had been filed through Cleveland and Silverman.
McBryde also criticized a 2010 recusal motion claiming the judge had an “overt personal bias against Gillig” in which Long supported Gillig’s previous claims, although he disputed the date of the pretrial conference. Silverman filed the motion.
McBryde says he “jokingly” made some comments about the contingency fees, but Silverman and Gillig had searched for on-the-record comments to support a “fictitious scenario.” McBryde also cited circumstantial evidence that neither Silverman nor Long believed Gillig’s assertions.
McBryde said Cleveland did not make a reasonable inquiry about the facts, and his lack of curiosity and inquiry “are the earmarks of an attorney who knew that he was about to present to the court false information.”
October 13th, 2010
By: Brian Prince
A Pennsylvania school district has agreed to a $610,000 settlement in a controversial legal battle over its use of Webcam technology on school-issued laptops.
The Lower Merion School District confessed to taking thousands of Webcam photos and screenshots from school-issued laptops. The district contended the technology was meant to find missing computers. However in February, the parents of Harriton High School student Blake Robbins, then 15, accused the district of using it to spy on him inside his home.
The settlement calls for $175,000 to be placed in a trust for Robbins, while a second student who sued, Jalil Hassan, will get $10,000. In addition, the students’ attorney, Mark Haltzman, will get $425,000 in legal fees—bringing the district’s tab to $610,000.
In August, the FBI declined to bring any charges in the case, ending several months of investigation.
“A major impetus behind settling this matter now is the recent agreement by our insurance carrier, Graphic Arts, to cover more than $1.2M of the fees and costs associated with this litigation to date,” Lower Merion School Board President David Ebby said in a statement.
“Although we would have valued the opportunity to finally share an important, untold story in the courtroom, we recognize that in this case, a lengthy, costly trial would benefit no one,” he said. “It would have been an unfair distraction for our students and staff and it would have cost taxpayers additional dollars that are better devoted to education. We also wanted to be sensitive to the welfare of the student involved in the case, given the possible ramifications of what would have been a highly-publicized trial.”
According to the suit, the district gave high school students computers as part of a technology initiative, but did not notify families that the laptops were equipped with Webcams that could be turned on remotely. The Robbins family alleged they did not learn of the capability until school officials accused their son Blake of “improper behavior in his home” and cited a photograph from the Webcam embedded in the laptop as evidence.
The district is no longer using the tracking technology.
December 14, 2009
By Joseph Menn
For more than a decade the common currency among cybercriminals has been pilfered credit card numbers, but some underground hackers have learned how to drain money directly from corporate bank accounts.
There has been a big rise in such frauds, raising the stakes in the war between financial institutions and criminals and costing some bank clients half a million dollars – or more.
Facebook backtracks on privacy – Dec-11
Facebook must be weary of changing the rules – Dec-11
Tech blog – Dec-01
The cyberhackers “are clearly ahead of the defence in terms of antivirus solutions, firewall solutions, etc,” Jeffrey Troy, chief of the FBI’s cybercrime section, told the Financial Times. Online bank thefts in 2009 had seen “a very dramatic increase from past years”.
Law enforcement warnings, recent reports from private security experts and lawsuits are focusing attention on the issue. Some professionals, citing the ongoing boom in virus infections through such social networks as Facebook and Twitter, fear the trends could combine in 2010.
Mr Troy estimated that criminals took about $40m from bank accounts this year, primarily targeting the small and mid-sized businesses that are themselves customers of small and mid-sized banks.
Such banks and their clients were less likely than their biggest competitors to have the highest-grade security procedures.
Targets have fallen victim to “spear phishing” and other tricks. In spear phishing, a misleading e-mail, instant message or social networking communication is aimed at one company or even a single person within that company, frequently a top executive. The message can be tailored convincingly with details of interest to that individual.
As with many generic phishing attacks that go to millions of users, the point is often to get the recipient to click on a link that installs software for surreptitiously logging keystrokes, so that passwords and account numbers can be recorded and transmitted over the internet to the hacker.
Aiming at small groups means that security programs that look for copies of previously reported attacks are less likely to recognise the software.
One of the most prevalent programs for stealing banking passwords, Zeus, can be bought and modified by anyone for about $700, Cisco Systems said in annual security study released this week.
Through both phishing and silent installs via compromised websites, Zeus has landed on some 3.6m machines. Another virus, URLZone, can rewrite online banking statements so that pilfered money does not appear to be missing.
Some businesses have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to thieves employing such tools. While banks typically indemnify consumers for online fraud losses that are spotted quickly, they can take a harder line against corporate clients. Such disputes are coming into the open with the first lawsuits over banking breaches.
This month a Baton Rouge equipment seller called JM Test Systems sued US bank Capital One. The suit says JM Test noticed an unauthorised $45,640 wire transfer to a Moscow bank a day after it went through.
Although the company complained immediately and Capital One pledged to investigate, it allegedly failed to freeze the account and a second fraudulent withdrawal of $51,556 went through six days later. The bank has refunded less than $8,000 of the losses, according to the suit, which accuses Capital One of having unreasonably lax procedures. The bank declined to comment, citing the litigation.
Banks were modifying their systems, said Mr Troy, but they had problems with authenticating account holders.
The same problem exists on the internet – and has been exacerbated with the trend toward shortened web links that deliberately compress – and disguise – the address of websites as they are passed along in e-mails or other messages.
Many social media users placed such trust in material posted by friends and colleagues “that they don’t stop to consider the dangers of clicking on an unidentifiable link”, Cisco found.